The Virginia Tech Hokies have gotten off to a solid start on the recruiting trail with ten commits so far headlined by 4-star athlete Reggie Floyd from Northern Virginia. The Hokies have done a good job recruiting offensive linemen in the last few cycles and so far, the Hokies have one offensive line commit in 3-star OT Thomas Jarrett Hopple.
The Hokies are known to be arguably leaders or right in the hunt for a couple other offensive linemen including Landon Dickerson. However, the Hokies are also in the top 2 for a player most people didn't realize the Hokies had much of a chance of getting.
The Hokies and Florida State are the two teams in the top 2 for four-star offensive guard Richard Merritt of Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington D.C.. Merritt is one of the best guards in the country and will be a strong addition for either school he chooses or if another school like Alabama is able to find a way to get back in the hunt and earn his commitment.
Merritt is ranked as the 66th best player by the ESPN Jr. 300 while the 247 Sports Composite has him as the 141st best player. Rivals has Merritt as the 12th best guard in the nation while the 247 Sports Composite has him as the third best offensive guard and ESPN has him as the second best offensive guard.
To see the Hokies in Merritt's top 2 is a big surprise, but it has to be a testament to the recruiting job that Stacy Searels has done. Searels helped put together a strong and deep offensive line class in the past cycle that was led by Austin Clark and now is building a strong class that could include not only Thomas Jarrett Hopple, but also Merritt and Landon Dickerson depending on what happens.
The other news that has come out of this is that the Seminoles are the leaders over the Hokies, but there is a lot of time left in the process. The Seminoles have done a good job of producing a lot of NFL offensive linemen over the last few years, but the presence of Stacy Searels should make that pitch somewhat less effective.
The Hokies have the home turf advantage with Washington D.C. being much closer to Blacksburg than Tallahassee, but that seems to not have as big of an impact as it traditionally has.
One of the biggest goals for the Hokies now will be to get Richard Merritt to campus for the Spring Game in less than two weeks. Getting Merritt to campus would be a great opportunity for him to have a conversation with Searels, Frank Beamer, and some of the current offensive linemen including Wyatt Teller which could be very valuable.
The Hokies have a great opportunity to get a very good offensive lineman in Richard Merritt, but have a lot of work ahead to close the deal.